The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Dog Man Digs a Hole For Himself

The man who made an unglamorous living by disposing of unwanted (aka slow) greyhounds has appeared for sentence, and the magistrates have committed him to the Crown Court as they feel that their powers are insufficient. Interesting, that. He was charged under the environmental protection law, and there is no suggestion that any cruelty was involved. He simply killed the dogs and buried them, and in doing so he breached the rules. There is nothing illegal about killing and burying animals, but certain precautions need to be taken to avoid polluting watercourses, and so on. During the foot-and-mouth outbreak a few years ago millions of animals, all of them a deal heavier than a greyhound, were killed and either burned or buried. The magistrates had, as we do in environmental cases, a fine of up to £20,000 available, and/or six months in prison.
I was not in court, so I don't know what the bench heard, but I am sure that they will have focused their minds on the environmental issue and put any feelings of distaste for the fate of the dogs to one side.
We shall see what the Judge comes up with. My hunch is that he will sentence the case within the lower court's power (as happens in nearly half of all committals for sentence).

Later - following a complaint I have replaced the earlier photograph of a skinny dog with a less controversial Greyhound.